Dreamforce is one of most iconic events in the IT world, setting up trends for the upcoming years. It was a great opportunity for our team to show our product, meet customers and friends. We also got the chance to see our competitors, learn new things and visit an amazing Dreamforce Gala party, where U2 was giving a special concert. Today our CEO Vlad Voskresensky shares his key impressions from Dreamforce.
- Corporate automation (CRM and beyond)
It’s actively moving from a “system of records” concept to a “coaching” concept, providing insight and analysis.
There is a ton of data in various forms being accumulated by modern corporations. The promise is that instead of generating complex reports and trying to find answers themselves, users may benefit from the intelligence of corporate automation. This allows data driven conclusions to be made automatically and presented to users in the right time and manner.
Salesforce and many other vendors are trying to apply machine learning or rather A.I. to work with data and figure out common signals, metrics and hints. This A.I. may allow managers to be more productive as well as identify gaps and address them faster. Such signals are coming not only through Dreamforce, but also industry wide (Einstein from Salesforce, Relationship Navigator from Microsoft, Watson from IBM, SmartCloud Connect from Invisible, etc).
This is only the beginning, and while it’s not clear to users or industry analysts who is leading the game, it is absolutely clear that success in this area is about more than just technical capabilities of data mining & processing. It’s demands clear (and often vertical) use cases. What kind of signals may I have in sales? What about support or marketing? When selling financial services? When generating customer demand? Etc.
- Synchronization & Integration is a must have.
It is clear that the one-system-which-does-it-all dream is not going to happen. Instead, people are using a myriad of various systems which should be connected to each other and work in conjunction. Here is an example of a typical situation: Sales automation is in Salesforce.com, accounting in QuickBooks, enterprise planning in SAP ERP, social collaboration in Slack, Calendar and emailing in Office365 and Voice\telephony in custom PBX.
Thus, system-to-system integration is a hot topic and there are many vendors and integrators who are offering such capabilities and services.
- Further Simplification of UI\UX is on full speed.
Decades ago we started a complex desktop software with hundreds of overloaded forms, then evolved to web-based browsing experience which was later converted into a mobile experience with each next step making the previous concept obsolete. Once people try a new approach they tend to skip the previous more complex ways of using the system.
Today it is all about a Lightening experience, which is designed for mobile, but works perfectly in a browser as well so people don’t need anything else.
There is no limit to perfection and the next step of UI\UX will definitely be conversational, where users will be able to talk to their software like they talk to their colleagues. This is why Bots are such a hot topic, even though it is not even close to the level of intelligence and responsiveness to be able to substitute the mobile\web experience. That said, it is definitely coming… just give it some time.